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Dog Ownership: Checklist To Help Make Right Decisions

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As a faithful and loving dog to her human, Jessie enjoyed years of joy and happiness. Why? She had a human who understood what it meant to be fully responsible for a dog.  If you are considering dog ownership, here are some points to keep in mind:

Dog Ownership Is Lifetime Commitment

You are the one responsible for providing shelter, food, water, medical care and love to your pet at all times. Your dog cannot do that for himself. A dog should be thought of as a member of the family, not to be abandoned at the first sign of… Click To Tweet.  Dogs want to make their people happy, but need to understand what the rules are and what’s expected of them.

Having A Dog Is Financial Commitment

On average, it costs $800-$1,000 a year to provide food, supplies and basic medical care. If you decide on a breed that requires frequent grooming, those costs can average $50 depending on size and breed of dog. A trip to the emergency vet for any reason, or monthly payments for pet insurance, will add $250 – $5,000 in that year.

Is Your Home Safe For Pets?

You must also pet-proof your home, which requires strict attention to anything toxic that might be within reach of a pet, such as plants, plastic bags and household cleaners.  This process is very similar to child-proofing.

Establish Regular Routine

Be prepared to train your dog, socialize him with various people and different environments; establish a grooming routine; and brush his teeth at least three to five times per week.

Research Dog Breeds To Determine Right Fit For Your Lifestyle

If you’ve considered all the points above and are ready for a dog, do your research to determine what size and breed will be the right fit.  You may love toy breeds (i.e. toy poodle), but because of their small, fragile frame they can be prone to injury when living with small children.  On the other hand, many large breeds (i.e. Labrador retrievers) are great with children. They need a lot of activity and can tend toward destructive behaviors if left alone too much.

Consider Adoption First

Research dog breeds and determined the right fit for your family, and consider adoption rather than buying a dog from a breeder or pet shop.  There are many breed specific rescues if you have your heart set on a particular breed.

Also, websites like adoptapet.com and petfinder.com have options to filter based on certain criteria you’re looking for, then show you dogs that fit the specifics that are in your area.  Dogs up for adoption aren’t “damaged” , they simply met with rough life circumstances.

Choosing to bring a dog into your life is a big decision an investment. When the match is great, the love you get in return cannot be measured in terms of dollars and cents.

Thanks to everydayhealth.com for this insightful information.